Knife crime -
how CCTV could make a big difference

Knife crime is on the rise in London with too many young men dying at the hands of other young men.

Two main failings by the police have resulted in this increase

11th May 2017

Firstly, a fear of "racism" has created an atmosphere, where front line police officers no longer use stop & search to find knives and other weapons. Gang members, especially young black men, have nothing to fear, when carrying a knife - the police have given up "putting hands in pockets".

Secondly, once a crime has occurred, the police too often fail to collect CCTV. If a murder occurs a team of top detectives will be on the case, with the time and equipment to gather images. BUT where a victim does not die and the crime is classified as a "GBH" or "serious assault" the investigation is passed to a local officer - often a training detective, who is swamped with other enquiries and has no training or equipment to obtain CCTV footage. As a result, vital leads to identify violent gang members are missed and offenders escape justice. Likewise, chances to link them to other offences previously "caught on camera" are lost.

My research demonstrated that of all crimes reported to the Metropolitan Police only 2% result in a suspect being found on CCTV - in a city with one million cameras. This has to improve. Violent crime could be prevented by more active stop and search, but when it occurs, CCTV could provide the vital leads, which result in villains being put before the courts.

Metro News - Map shows how widespread knife crime is across London